Yan Couto and Savinho: “Michel has one hundred percent responsibility for everything that happens to us” | Soccer | Sports

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The taste for the style of play in Brazil changes. Jump from the happy, sometimes chaotic, always fun Carioca football, to the disciplined and tactical gaucho, passing through the popular and technical São Paulo. But there is a pleasure, rarely punishment (when it is, it stings a lot, just name the Maracanzo or Germany’s 1-7), which does not change in the South American giant: the love for the Canarinha, the scratch as Brazilians usually call it. And the scratch He caught two Girona footballers who will wear the Canarinha tomorrow. “The tradition was to sit together as a family and watch the national team matches. Always with my father by my side. It was a very important moment for me, beyond every child’s dream of one day being able to play for the national team,” recalls Yan Couto (21 years old). Next to him, less eloquent, just as dedicated to his national team, Savinho (19 years old) also looks to the past: “I watched the national team a lot when I was little. “It was when you could see your idols.” And it is then, beyond the fact that Couto was born in the north (São Mateus) and Savio in the south (Curitiba), when both footballers agree: “Neymar”.

Last summer, the idea of ​​joining the Brazilian team was a pipe dream for Yan Couto and Savinho. “At first, we wanted to come to Girona to grow as players, as people,” says the full-back, who in the 2022-2023 season had returned to Montilivi after a loan to Braga (Portugal), while the commitment to the forward In the last market, it was a coin toss, only endorsed by Girona’s meticulous sports director, Quique Cárcel. Everything changed in a few months. “It is a historic year for us. In the end, when the season started we did not imagine that we could be in the position we are in,” explains Yan Couto. The surprising campaign of Michel’s team, ready to fight for the League with the two giants of Spain, is a feat that has not gone unnoticed even in Brazil, owner of the most admired team in history, the only one with five World Cups in its history. showcases.

The first person whose phone rang was Yan Couto. It was in November, when the team from Girona occupied first position in the League, two points behind Real Madrid. By those magical coincidences of life, his father was with him in Girona. “We celebrated so much…” remembers the defender. However, it didn’t take him even 10 minutes to pick up his cell phone again: there was a colleague with whom he needed to share the news. “We talked, we celebrated, we shouted,” he remembers his talk with Savinho; “a moment of happiness between Savio and me. We know everything we work and suffer every day to achieve things.”

Girona does not let up in the League and on this FIFA matchday, Dorival (Brazil coach) has once again set his sights on northern Catalonia. “He saw comments on the internet, but he was calm, he knew that God would have prepared the right moment to be summoned. And that moment was now. I received the list when I was at home, with my wife and parents,” explains Savinho. And, of course, the same ritual, but in reverse: talk to Yan Couto. “I called Yan, of course. “We talked and celebrated.”

Savinho and Yan Couto joke at the Girona training center. Nuri Margui (Girona FC)

The next call was to Michel. “The coach has one hundred percent responsibility for everything we are doing here this season, also in this call. He is the one who helps us, the one who fights with us on a daily basis and the one who demands a lot from us in training,” highlights Savinho. “Michel?”, Yan Couto says; “The way he works is incredible, both on and off the field. But off the field, for example, he helps me stay grounded, to remain humble. In the end, many people from outside comment on many things and you have to stay calm and continue working. He always insists on the same thing to me: ‘You have to work, work and work.’ We are doing that. Michel influences us in the tactical and technical part, but also in life. And that for me is the most important thing.”

Since settling in the First Division, Girona has gone on to nurture national teams, at the time it was Uruguay, with its symbol Stuani, top scorer in the club’s history. Now he also does it with Ukraine (Dovbyk and Tsygankov), Venezuela (Yangel Herrera) and the Netherlands (Blind). He has loaned Aleix García to Spain in November, but none is as memorable with his double loan to Canarinha, with Yan Couto and Savinho.

Brazilian football does not exhaust its talent pool. It can be more or less covered, but it is never empty. Now, with Dorival at the helm of Canarinha, a new generation is emerging. “It’s a new cycle and we want to do it very well. We are the future. I am really hopeful. I want to start a story with the national team. We are the new generation. There is a group of incredible players, with Vinicius, Rodrigo, Paquetá… We are here to help, grow and be part of the new team. There are also people who have a lot of experience and who help us a lot to understand how things work and how to stay calm,” emphasizes Yan Couto.

“There are two great friendlies against England and Spain to prepare for the Copa América. Difficult matches,” says Savinho, who replaced Raphinha in the 78th minute in Brazil’s victory against England at Wembley (0-1). Now it’s their turn to return to the Santiago Bernabéu. “It is a very beautiful stadium, with a giant history. Spain has a very good team, with great players. Most of them are from the League, I know the players well and they have a top level. It is a Spain-Brazil, people are going to enjoy it,” Yan Couto closes. Girona put them in the showcase. A leap to the elite of world football, no less than in the orbit of Brazil.

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